How should voiceovers be used in ads?

Voiceovers are commonly used in ads across the world, and they seem to aid the communication of factual messages. However, voiceovers are less commonly associated with distinctive ads, and continuous voiceovers can result in lower engagement. Additionally, the manner in which a voiceover ties in with an ad's visual content is critical: When voiceovers and visuals compete, the voiceover message can get lost.

The voiceover is a very common feature of TV advertising across the world. Of the ads in our Link database, 89 percent include voiceovers. Since they are so common and can be edited relatively easily, voiceovers are a worthy topic for scrutiny.

What voiceovers do well: Aid communication of information

Voiceovers are often used to convey information, and they can do this effectively. On attributes related to news and information, ads with voiceovers score slightly but consistently higher than ads without voiceover. Not only are key messages communicated better, but ads with voiceovers score higher on credibility, conveying new information, relevance, and persuasion. The indexes on these measures for ads with and without voiceovers are compared in the table below.

Link Metric With voiceover Global Base Without voiceover Global Base
Key Message Communication 101 13982 98 1565
Credible 101 35151 97 3195
New Information 101 50643 94 6270
Relevant 101 50444 95 6254
Persuasive 101 49640 96 6246